The 67th annual Maine Lobster Festival begins Wednesday, July 30 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3 at Rockland's Harbor Park.

Final preparations were in full tilt July 28 as vendors, arts and crafts exhibitors, amusement rides and the information booth were being set up.

"We are always looking for good weather, great crowds and fun and feasting on the fabulous coast of Maine," said Maine Lobster Festival President Chuck Kruger.

King Neptune and the Royal Court will kick off the festivities Wednesday with a noon arrival at Buoy Park and will be followed by the official flag raising ceremony in front of the Harbormaster's Station.

City and festival officials welcome the cadets and instructors of the United States Coast Guard Barque Eagle at a ceremony Friday, Aug. 1 on the main stage at 4 p.m. The tall ship will offer free tours to the public on Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Coast Guard Station dock at the end of Tillson Avenue.

"It is a privilege to serve such a big organization," said Kruger adding, "it's not always an easy ship to steer."

For full festival coverage throughout the weekend, visit knox.villagesoup.com.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.